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Number of Gay Characters on TV Declines

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 28th 2011 11:30AM
The Good Wife, GleeThe number of gay characters on broadcast TV shows is down, according to a new report from GLAAD. And in a surprising turn, Fox has become the most LGBT-inclusive TV network, toppling ABC.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance's "Where We Are on TV" report found that the overall number of LGBT series regulars on scripted TV is down to 2.9 percent. It was at 3.9 percent during the 2010-2011 season.

"While the number of LGBT characters is down, some of the most popular shows with critics and viewers such as 'Glee,' 'True Blood' and 'The Good Wife' weave storylines about gay and lesbian characters into the fabric of the show," Mike Thompson, acting president of GLAAD Acting, said in a statement. "Whether it's the growing household of Mitchell and Cameron on 'Modern Family' or the recent wedding of Callie and Arizona on 'Grey's Anatomy,' Americans expect to see the diversity of our country represented in their favorite programs and that includes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people."

Fox, the home of 'Glee,' has 6.8 percent LGBT series regular characters. In 2007, GLAAD said the network had zero. Note that 'Glee' launched in 2009. Now out of 117 total series regular characters, 8 are LGBT.

ABC's percentage is down to 3.4 percent of characters being LGBT compared to 2010's 7.2 percent.

NBC continues to decline. Only 3 out of their 154 characters are LGBT.

The CW features one LGBT series regular characters out of 67.

CBS also only has one LGBT character out 134 total series regulars.

The number of scripted LGBT series regulars found on "mainstream" cable networks has also fallen to 29, down from 35 in 2010. However, the organization counted 25 recurring characters on cable.

The 2011 broadcast season features no transgender or African American gay characters.

"GLAAD continues to call for networks to not only include LGBT characters, but ensure that the images reflect the gender and ethnic diversity that makes up our community," Thompson said. "There are zero LGBT African American or transgender characters on broadcast network TV, but storylines like those of 'True Blood's' spirit-channeling fry cook Lafayette and 'Degrassi's' transgender teen Adam on cable demonstrate how more diverse representations make for popular, original, and compelling television."

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george

Why is it taht masterbaters and rapist are not given the quality time or programming that the other degenrates git.You always hear what fags and dikes want,but what about beastalitist?

September 29 2011 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sidbinks

go Fox!

September 28 2011 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ae

Approximately 4.3 million americans consider themselves to be GLTB (or 1.51% of Americans). Perhaps, these stats are wrong. For the sake of fairness, let's say that this is only representative of 1/4 of homosexuals. With 17.2 million GLTB Americans, only 6.04% of Americans would be gay. There are over 8 million evangelical Christians (8%).

I am a Christian, but I am completely for the inclusion of all types of people. I'm not crazy. My favorite shows are ModFam, Mad Men, Parks & Rec, Luther, 30 Rock, Up All Night, SNL, Arrested Development, Breaking Bad, The Middle, and Glee. I consider myself to have exceptional entertainment tastes. I believe that all people should be represented and that should include intellectuals who adhere to religion/any code of morality.

I'm asking for 5 POSITIVELY portrayed Christians on TV. That's nothing compared to other demographics.

September 28 2011 at 2:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lagrange

I'm a gay man and I've often thought there are too many gay characters on television. And even more so in England where shows sometimes have like 6 gay characters! (Coronation Street). Sorry, but it's just not realistic when it goes that far. I mean, that show Coronation Street is supposed to be set in Manchester, not West Hollywood--so is it realistic that every other person is gay!?
Gays hold extreme power in the entertainment industry, so maybe it's not surprising that we over-represent ourselves, but by doing it this way we're just asking for push back. Look, we've won the culture war--we can chill out now and scale back the fight.
And yeah, I'm sure some will say I must not really be gay...but whatever. I'm a 41 year old gay male who has spent 17 years working in the entertainment business and I've seen the progress and as of late I've seen the push back.

September 28 2011 at 2:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Sarah

yeah, i'm not crying over these stats either. i'm with kenyng, when you have shows like Glee and Modern Family celebrating the LGBT community, but other minority groups are seriously misrepresented/underrepresented...

September 28 2011 at 2:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rodandzem

Good ridance!

September 28 2011 at 2:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Mama

And your point is? There are many groups who are not always represented in every television show. Pull up your big girl or boy pants and suck it up buttercup. There are many unfair, and unequal things in the world.

September 28 2011 at 2:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
kenyng

What about Hispanic, Black, Pacific Islander, Asian, Straight, BiSexual, Asian, Exterrestrial???

What are their Stats??l

September 28 2011 at 12:38 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
drno7777

Just to play devils advocate here but considering recent demographics suggest that only 3.5% of the US population is LGBT then 2.9 isn't far off and it seems unfair to chastise the networks for it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_demographics_of_the_United_States

September 28 2011 at 12:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
latezmr2

boo hoo hooo

September 28 2011 at 12:03 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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